Rick Scott goes on the record

By John Bachman - bio | email

PALM CITY, FL (WFLX) - Rick Scott goes on the record about what he thinks of the negative campaign ads and political rough housing.

Republican Rick Scott is running for governor against Democrat Alex Sink. Both sides are spending millions on ads attacking the other candidate.

Rick Scott, crisscrossing the state, stopped for a GOP rally in Palm City Tuesday.

We asked about the ad where Martin County Republican Sheriff Robert Crowder, who endorses Sink for governor, says, "Rick Scott can't be trusted".

Scott didn't have anything to say to Crowder. Instead, he said, "Look, the race I'm running is create jobs. I have a seven step plan to create 700,000 jobs. That's what I'm focusing on."

So, we asked him about jobs and the claims he makes during many of his commercials. He and other Republican candidates say the stimulus bill created "no jobs". But the bi-partisan congressional budget office says the stimulus created between 1.3 to 4 million jobs.

Still, Scott disagrees with those numbers. "If you look at what the stimulus did, it created so much uncertainty, it has killed jobs, wasted our dollars, and put on more debt on our country."

Reporter John Bachman asked, "So, the congressional budget office is wrong?"

"I know that the stimulus has killed jobs," Scott responded. "If we want negative campaigning to stop, we have to stop responding to it."

Kevin Wagner teaches political science at Florida Atlantic University. He says there's a reason why both candidates are using negative ads. "Because they work; even if, they may bend the truth. Hypocrisy is part of politics on both sides. Republican and Democrats have made a sure amount of claims of things they have carried on themselves. So, it's nothing new."

But Wagner says don't blame the candidates. We may complain about those ads, but they are effective. Wagner suggests maybe you shouldn't vote for the candidate who put the negative ad out there -- maybe that would stop the negativity.

We did contact Alex Sink about the negative ads her campaign has produced on Scott. Her response, "Unfortunately, some 90 percent of the $60 million that Rick Scott has spent on television has been spent on negative television ads. The vast majority of which have been widely debunked by the press."

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